By Our Correspondents
Insurgents have carried out a bloody raid on some communities in Zamfara State, allegedly killing over 100 members of a vigilante group.
According to a LEADERSHIP source, the attack occurred Tuesday night when the vigilante members from Zurmi and Birnin Magaji local governments were having a joint meeting bordering on the lingering insurgency in the areas.
The source said the vigilante groups had identified a major terrorists’ hideout in the jungle, and believing that the situation could be a threat to the oncoming general election, had decided to have a meeting to find a lasting solution ahead of the elections.
“When the meeting was going on,” said the source, “an informant within the meeting alerted the insurgents who immediately surrounded the victims and opened fire, killing over 100 of them and quickly escaped into the forest.”
The communities worst hit include Zurmi, Birnin Magaji and Birnin Tsaba, where similar attacks by insurgents had occurred in the past.
The Emir of Birnin Magaji, Alhaji Ahmed Umar Usman, confirmed that while his community lost eight youths, Zurmi lost about 70 and Birnin Tsaba 30.
Findings by our correspondent indicate that the number of casualties may exceed the recorded figure, as there seems to be other unreported cases in some remote neighbouring communities.
The spokesman of the state police command ASP Lawal Abdullahi said only 19 died in the raid.
Potiskum suicide bomber kills 6, injures 36
At least six persons have been confirmed dead and 36 others hospitalised after a teenage suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a crowded bus station in Potiskun town of Yobe State yesterday, security sources said.
Mallam Ahmadu Abdullahi, a local vigilante official in Potiskum, said he assisted the security operatives to convey about 36 injured victims to the hospital and helped to evacuate six corpses, including that of the suicide bomber to the Potiskum General Hospital.
He told newsmen on phone that “one of our members actually spotted a boy of about 15 years entering the Potiskum Bus station at about11 am on Sunday, but before we could stop and search him, the bomb exploded.
“By the time I left the hospital, six persons were confirmed killed – and that includes the bomber. We have taken 36 seriously injured persons to the Potiskum General hospital; but we doubt if some of them who are in critical conditions could make it. “
Police spokesman in Yobe State, Markus Danladi, confirmed the attack but could not give details on casualties.
Insurgents launch attack on Gombi town, fierce battle rages
There was pandemonium in Gombi town in Adamawa State, as residents fled into the surrounding bushes and hills following a raging gunfight between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram insurgents after the latter reportedly launched an attack on Dzagula village near Gombi.
Parts of Gombi town were annexed by the Boko Haram insurgents towards the end of last year before the Nigerian troops liberated them and dispersed the insurgents, returning normalcy to the local government.
Reports from the area indicated that soldiers had been drafted to the area and had engaged the insurgents in a fierce battle which was still raging on by the time of filing this report.
Details about casualty figures were not available as the residents said they only managed to escape the crossfire.
Spokesman for the state government, Mr P. Elisha confirmed that fighting was ongoing and advised the residents to remain calm but vigilant.
Boko Haram gunmen take over Bauchi forest, attack checkpoint
Gunmen believed to be Boko Haram insurgents have taken over a vast forest located near the town of Nabordo in Bauchi State, and are using the forest as a base to attack targets in the state.
The forest located along the Jos-Bauchi road, some residents of Nabordo told LEADERSHIP, has witnessed discrete activities by the insurgents of late.
A resident of the town said the activities of the gunmen had been making residents of the area restless as they believe that this could portend dangerous omen for Bauchi State in view of recent terrorists’ bombings in the state.
When contacted, the Bauchi State Police Command, through its spokesman, confirmed the report and said it had become a serious security threat.
Haruna Mohammed, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Bauchi, said about 30 of the gunmen on motorcycles, on Sunday at 3pm, attacked a security checkpoint at Zaranda village of Toro LGA, shooting at security agents and commuters along the Jos-Bauchi highway and injuring two passengers who are currently being treated at a hospital in Bauchi State.
UNHCR worries over 150,000 returning Nigerians
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has expressed worry over the attempted return of an estimated 153,000 Nigerians who had sought refuge in neighbouring countries as a result of Boko Haram attacks since May 2014.
Speaking at the just concluded regular press briefing by the UN Information Service, Geneva, UNHCR chief William Spindler revealed that the teams in Chad had also reported identifying 104 unaccompanied children who had been separated from their families while fleeing the attacks in Baga. They had been placed in foster families while waiting to be reunited with their own.
Chadian troops arrive Cameroon to Battle Boko Haram
A contingent of soldiers from Chad have arrived in Cameroon’s Far Northern Region as part of efforts to contain the Boko Haram insurgency on the Nigerian border, Cameroon’s defence a spokesman has told Voice of America (VOA).
The sect has expanded its operational zone into northern Cameroon over the past year, prompting Yaounde to deploy thousands of additional forces, including elite troops, to its border with Nigeria.
“A convoy of troops from Chad arrived in Maroua, the main town in Cameroon’s Far-North Region, late on Saturday,” Col. Didier Badjeck said, but declined to say how many soldiers had been dispatched by N’Djamena, Chad.
We have been betrayed – Sacked Soldiers
Sacked soldiers has accused the Nigerian Army of betraying them after it dismissed some soldiers for allegedly disobeying a direct order from their commanding officer, the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports.
Recently, the Nigerian army has dismissed some soldiers for asking for support equipment following the army’s plan to convey them for an operation in Bama and Gwoza, the strongholds of Boko Haram insurgents.
The dismissal of the soldiers followed a wave of court-martialling of some soldiers for mutiny and other offences in the troubled northeast.
One of the sacked soldiers told the agency that they refused to take part in the operation in the northeast because the Army did not provide them with the required combat and support equipment needed for such operations.
He alleged that their commanding officers push them into operations and the militants kill them just like that.
He said having engaged the insurgents in several past battles, a majority of the soldiers argued that the operation would be fierce, and therefore requested support equipment but instead they were tried and dismissed.